Long Beach State's junior attacker Chandler Kaltenbach gets ready to shoot in Sunday's match against No. 3 California at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center.
Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports

No. 8 LBSU misses upset opportunity against No. 3 Cal

After a dominant showing against UC Santa Barbara on Friday, No. 8 LBSU looked to replicate the performance against No. 3 California, but lost 14-8 at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center.

The game was Long Beach’s (11-9, 1-2 Golden Coast) second loss to Cal (16-1, 1-0 Pac-12) this season after dropping the first meeting on Sept. 3, 14-7.

“We mentally quit before the start of the match,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said. “Cal’s brand was too big for us today, and we checked out early on.”

In the first quarter, both teams struggled to score until 4:14, when sophomore attacker Austin Stewart scored the first point. The Bears quickly answered to tie it up, and the rest of the first quarter finished scoreless. On the other end the 49ers kept up with the Bears, but the second quarter is where the Long Beach defense fell apart.

Cal outscored Long Beach 6-2 in the second quarter, which included a 5-0 scoring run. The 49ers’ defense was nonexistent and Arroyo was frustrated.

“Instead of going after them, we were hesitant and we let them get ahead of us,” Arroyo said. “The team understood what they were going up against, but chose not to fight.”   

It was a catch-up game for Long Beach at the end of the first half, and Cal continued to roll along.

The third quarter saw more of the same from the Bears, with a 4-0 run to start it off. Stewart and senior center Duncan Lynde both were able to garner a goal, but it would not be enough to get the 49ers close going into the fourth quarter.

Long Beach had its best offensive showing in the final quarter, scoring three goals, but the deficit was too high for the team to come back. The Bears finished off with three goals as well, toppling the 49ers 14-8 and sweeping the season series.

Stewart and Duncan led the team with two goals each, while sophomore goalkeeper Thomas Freeman registered nine saves.

“Our effort was determined at the beginning of the match and it wasn’t enough,” Arroyo said. “As humans we predict how things are going to go, and it affected us today.”

The 49ers will look to bounce back when the team hosts Stanford at noon Saturday at the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter